Indonesian troops kill fighters in Papua

Indonesian troops have killed two pro-independence fighters in troubled Papua province, authorities and a rebel leader say.

Authorities and a rebel leader say two pro-independence fighters and a third person have been killed during a week of gun battles in Indonesia's troubled Papua region.

A police and military operation is trying to capture Purom Wenda, a West Papua Liberation Army commander who authorities say is a petty criminal who joined independence fighters and later formed his own more radical splinter group.

Wenda, in a statement conveyed via an activist on Friday, said two of his fighters were killed in a shoot-out with paramilitary police and soldiers after his group shot dead a motorbike taxi driver they believed was spying for security forces.

The military said he was an innocent villager.

An insurgency has simmered in Papua since it became part of Indonesia more than half a century ago.

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